Apprentices graduate from PWD construction programme

| 12/06/2019
CNS Local Life
The students after their graduation from the PWD apprenticeship programme

(CNS Local Life): Seven students who graduated from the Public Works Department’s (PWD) Construction Apprenticeship Programme were recently honoured in a ceremony held at the Department of Agriculture, next to the Post-Harvest Building, which the graduates had themselves helped to build. The students received the City and Guilds of London Level 2 IVQ Technician Certification in Construction, while several other trainees celebrated attaining the Level 1 award, with both qualifications internationally recognised.

The apprenticeship programme runs in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC), which provides a large portion of the trainees enrolled (others are recruited from the general public) and is supported by private sector partners, stated a press release.

Family and friends of the graduates along with their PWD mentors, attended the ceremony, which was held 29 May.

In his address at the graduation, PWD Director Max Jones looked to the future of the programme, the release said. He thanked Minister for Planning Joey Hew for advocating on behalf of the training scheme, to secure government’s full support and financial backing for developing the course further. Additional funding will double the programme’s capacity, the release said, covering both operational costs and those required to expand the facility to include a dedicated training building, which will be able to deliver up to 50 trainees per year.

Hew said government was doing everything possible “to ensure that we promote sustainable and responsible development for the future”, adding he was confident “our graduates will take their rightful place in the future of this important industry,” which he stressed was in “safe, Caymanian hands”.

CNS Local Life
Apprentice of the Year Zeb Bush speaks at the ceremony

The programme was launched in 2016, developed out of a need flagged by PWD to fill key technical roles locally because of a lack of required practical skills and technical knowhow to carry out work in the construction industry at the requisite standard. Realising that taking on individual apprentices was too small an approach to meet industry demands, the department partnered with CIFEC, before eventually opening up to students not enrolled in any institution, said the release.

CIFEC Director Delores Thompson stressed it had been important to listen to the community when they were informed students needed more skills as they entered the work force. She also emphasised the importance of the theory and academic components of the course.            

Graduate Zeb Bush, 17, who was named Apprentice of the Year, said he was proud of their work constructing the Post-Harvest Building as it meant they had “done something for the country”.

Fellow graduate Chris Fennell said he had joined the programme because he “saw the potential. I have good faith it will put me in a good place because I have always loved the field of construction.”

The five other students graduating with the Level 2 award were Rico Bodden, Danai Pusey, D’Andre Bodden, Naethiun Chambers and Jaydun Ebanks.

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Category: Education, Training

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